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Shirley Murdock


People start to yawn and tap their fingers when the word "diva" is uttered, and with good reason -- face it, the word's been pasted on so many acts and young vocal acrobats that it's ripping along the edges. Shirley Murdock should be spared the title, if only to keep her name free of association with VH-1 specials. Instead, Murdock's name should bring to mind "As We Lay," her sublime bit of Quiet Storm fare and one of the most transcendent Soul songs of the '80s. Notes vibrate gently in her throat before giving way to serene passages where they delicately unravel and disappear. Murdock may have been one of the best vocalists to make a Soul appearance in the '80s.
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